#FYP | Idea Conceptualisation

Time left to complete FYP! 

This first post marks the start of my #FYP journey. For a start, I aim to cement the idea and have a general direction of the working steps by the end of my summer holiday (end July). The entire set of weekly fyp progress reports/updates will take on a more casual prose and ‘info-dumping’ style, intended to help me to consolidate all my thoughts and information. But then again, I’ll see how it goes.


Initial Idea:

Layout of initial FYP idea

My Initial Idea(fyp_05_2017) comprises of a series of hooded strobe lights, which can be swivelled to change the direction of the strobe lighting. It’s intention was to deconstruct our exterior space through the way we see, and create a different experienced environment. At the same time, a corresponding abstract, static sound will accompany the installation, beating according to the strobe light flashes. The sound and light installation will restart and replay in a loop after every ~8 minutes.

3/4 view of initial idea set-up


Project Status (so far..)
My initial idea did utilise my preferred medium and topic: of light, and space. However, comments given by various professors during the final presentation ranged from that the project was being very much fleshed out, and I would need to push it further. Also, I felt like I have not utilised the medium to its maximum potential, and was just scraping the surface of its usage. One pertinent question was also of me needing to test out the actual set-up in the actual space, as aesthetics was extremely important in pushing the atmospheric feel of the piece.

Aspirations for FYP
Honestly speaking, I felt detached to the project, and it didn’t speak to me on a personal level yet. I have been struggling in finding what I like recently; I felt like my tastes have changed. A year back, I would have liked to work on this but perhaps not now.

Through working on this idea, I realised that I wanted something more tangible, something that you actually hold and touch. At the same time, I still wanted it to be an experience, but go beyond an experience of sights and sounds. I wanted touch, which I felt was missing when I went to similar-sorts of installations that relied on mainly projections. I wanted it to still remain immersive, engulfing the entire space.

I’m going back to the drawing board, and consider picking out an overarching topic for this installation, perhaps it might be easier to approach it that way.

My research took me on field trips to actual exhibits on-going at the ACM and the National Gallery. This comes at a great time where really interesting exhibits were being brought in by the museums.

I went to the Joseon Korea exhibit at the Asian Civilisations Museum where I saw this piece that struck me with its beauty.


  1. Becoming Again: Coming Together by Ran Hwang

I loved how Hwang played cleverly together with the physical, projection lighting and shadows, and realised this was what I wanted to similarly portray in my own work – blending different mediums. The mixed media artwork. The columns of the museum were covered with curtain-strings to form a projection wall for the Joseon couple to be projected. The wall where the flowers and the phoenix were projected on was made from acrylic/glass (?) sheets pinned with flowers. In this organised chaos she manages to create a flowerbed.

Hwang’s work made me realise the limitations of my thinking: that I was far too stuck on creating flat spaces to project light on. I’ve got to test out different materials that I may be using soon after finalising the concept. In addition, Hwang’s choice of materials also reflects and ties in closely (through symbolism) of the subject. Perhaps it is a technique that I could adopt in choosing my materials.


2. Homogenizing and Transforming World by Teamlab

I also popped by Teamlab’s artwork at the National Gallery.

The same exhibit was shown at the National Gallery Singapore

To me, this artwork felt similar to my intention for fyp, yet I felt like something was missing. Was it that the idea (of touching an object for it to affect surrounding objects) was too watered down? Visuals-wise it was a definite win, but interaction-wise I felt that something was missing. Interaction was indeed missing but also not required in Hwang’s above work. However, in this artwork, it was pertinent as part of the input factor and feedback to the audience.

Perhaps going on a weekday where there were little audience affected how I enjoyed the work, as the communal play factor was lacking. The balls could be there as a medium, enhancing the mechanism of play or mediating for play between the audience.

Thoughts and how to proceed on
Visiting these artworks have made me slightly clearer about the setup and possibilities available for my artwork. While I may still be stuck at the ideation process, I would be exploring more of the technical aspects the following week. Here’s my game plan for the following week:

  • Sound (to research more on sound, and learn how to create/tweak sound other than just cropping and altering the notes)
  • Read up on how to do projection mapping (to explore options)
  • Build up on idea – will need more time to consolidate and chart out what I envision

Lingering Butt Sounds / Creating a space

A group project by Nathanael, Esmond, Yi Xian and Tania.

The chairs have been wrapped with plastic! When the plastic comes into contact with another object (person’s butt, or item placed on the chair), crinkling plastic sounds are generated. This sound is then recorded real-time and processed, and immediately heard through speakers placed at the side of the chairs.

Act III | The Death [Updated 17/4/17]

Screenshot of Act III broadcast

It is night, and somehow, the air is heavy with sorrow. She comes out for one last time, but her heart is torn between returning to the 2nd space, or staying in the real 1st space. However, she accidentally destroys her portal-frame on her way out: effectually fully closing the way she manages to flow in between worlds. She panics, for she is stuck, and she remains the sole being of a product of both worlds.

Isolated, she circumambulates around the only space she knows. She finishes up the whole of the broken, and realises why; she herself has been destroying her space with the X (close tab) on her hand. Her own existence is unstable – she does not exist in the real world. Thus, she marks her own finale: she X-es herself from the real world.

Act III: The DeathShe is now free, present in the real space! But what is she to do now??? Feel free to comment, or participate! (Part 3 of final project broadcast)

Posted by Tania Tay on Thursday, 13 April 2017


Sequence Symbolism
Crawls out of frame Reappearance into the real world
Accidentally X-es the screen Destroys the portal between worlds
Circumambulation Marking the end of the season’s finale; in searching for the end repetitively

FYP Proposal: Walking on air (working title)

Walking on air (woa) is an interactive installation that allows visitors to trace their own paths in a smoke-filled environment, and experience being above the clouds.

Concept: Creating an otherworldly experience, an experimental space where the body becomes the instrument. Individual bodies are disregarded, and instead become part of the bigger picture.

Logistics: Smoke generating machine, strong light projector, video camera, all situated within a contained room (tentatively truss room)

Functionality: In woa, a smoke generator will create a foggy atmosphere in the room, and the projector will continually project a wavy line into the smoke at a height slightly above the calf. When light is projected into smoke, a smokey, surreal form independent to the initial wavy line is created. This creates the illusion of clouds forming, and walking above or on clouds. When there is movement, a motion camera tracks the movement and a light trail formed by the movement (eg walking) is immediately projected at the location where movement is detected. Where movement overlaps or take longer to move, the light trail becomes brighter. Over time, the light trail will dissipate (with the dissipating effect) and fade away, resuming the original sight

There will also be an accompanying soundtrack to the installation. When the new light trail is created, a musical note is played, extending for the entire duration of which the light trail exists. When the light trail fades, the volume of the accompanying note will also fade away, proportionate to the brightness level of the light trail. Each light trail will generate a musical note in a randomised pitch; it is hoped that the different walking styles of people would generate a pleasant harmony.

Colour for the light beam would be restricted to only white, to reduce visual distraction and to preserve an ethereal feel. Music notes would similarly adopt a

Technicalities: MaxMsp would be used for motion tracking, and also as a sound synthesiser.

Aim: For woa, I wish to achieve an ethereal feel bordering on minimalism, and going back to the basic, rudimentary elements. The visuals and surroundings are kept sparse, and available elements kept strictly little. However, I want to imbue a slight element of play, to make interaction engaging and open to all age groups. It is hoped that visitors leave the installation entranced, as though they had just visited an alternate world. At the same time, a slight element of bodily displacement would be created, with the visitor, having an extremely wide movement range but without a set moving path within this changing, unfamiliar environment.

Inspired by Anthony McCall’s You and I, Horizontal, ideally, my installation would also bring across a simple sensation using the most basic instruments.

Interaction: Walking, running in the path of the light, backtracking, circulating


Artist References:

1.You and I, Horizontal II (Anthony McCall)

You and I, Horizontal: Light beams into the smoke

The usage of the smoke and light beams originated from this work. However, I would like to push it further and make it more interactive with accompanying sounds.


2.On space time foam by Tomàs Saraceno

On space time foam

I would like woa to adopt a similar premise – immersive, playful, yet simple. Perhaps I could analyse the movements and behaviour of visitors who took part in the installation and predict how they would behave in mine.

3.El Claustro by Penique Productions

El Claustro

Penique productions changes the space by blowing up a balloon and wrapping all the items in the surroundings with rubber. Here, they have changed the space visually.


Production Schedule: Here


Video Walk Documentation

Four screens – it was harder to film it, as the video was moving too quickly; had I known, I would have slowed down my walking pace during filming last week. That being said, it effectually shattered the perspective of the space. Through fragmentation of the seen and known of the just seen and the now seeing, one effectually gets information overload of the space and corrupts their spatial distortion.



Spatial Analytics

Lightbulb Arrangement: Inspired Image

1. 1 Lightbulb Arrangement

Sole presence of single bulb leads us to have a wider visual field. The space looks expanded. Space within a space.


2. 10 Lightbulbs Arrangement

Spatial, distended formation. Some variation of interlocking space.


3. 100 Lightbulbs Arrangement

Spatial tension between lightbulbs of varying distance. Tension at different points differ. Clustered form at the corner. Radial forms – starting from the corner. Hierarchy from the side. Some sort of rhythm.


4. 1,000 Lightbulbs Arrangement

Linear form (a series of forms arranged sequentially in a row). Grid form (a set of modular forms related and regulated by a three-D grid) Liner form has been manipulated to form repetitive, enclosed a portion of space. Equality gives repetition. Visual field is mostly occupied by the bulbs. Layering of diff planes, multiples of overhead plane. Symmetrical.


Analysis of space in artworks

Analyse an artwork (to do with space) and discuss its architecture. 3 different works.

1. Cooking the World, Subodh Gupta

Subodh Gupta, Cooking the World (2016) Found aluminium utensils, monofilament line, steel 600 cm (diameter) Collection of the Artist Displayed at the Singapore Art Museum as part of the Singapore Biennale
Subodh Gupta, Cooking the World (2016)
Found aluminium utensils, monofilament line,
steel 600 cm (diameter)
Collection of the Artist

Artwork is displayed at the Singapore Art Museum as part of the Singapore Biennale 2017. 

Consisting of aluminium and steel utensils, there is a certain rhythm to the artwork, creating a particular space within the larger space. Repetitive objects (despite not being of similar shapes) create a symmetrical plane of the sphere-shape. White space is preserved for roundabout circulation of walking.

2. Half of the Air in the Given Space, Martin Creed

Martin Creed Work No. 262, Half the Air in the Given Space, 2001 Installation Green Latex Balloons Dimension variable Collection of FRAC LANGUEDOC ROSSILLON
Martin Creed
Work No. 262, Half the Air in the Given Space, 2001
Green Latex Balloons
Dimension variable

Artwork is displayed at the Singapore Art Museum as part of the What is not visible is not invisible exhibit, in collaboration with the Singapore Biennale.

This artwork presents an interesting debate; architecture mainly brings about notions of solid items. However in this case, what is solid is made out of something not solid, and vice-versa. The balloons provide a constant repetition, and the artworks are constantly changing in spatial arena – but standardising blanketing the lower plane of the enclosed box-space.

3. Home Within Home, Do Ho Suh

do ho suh ‘home within home’ (installation view) museum of modern and contemporary art, seoul, korea november 12, 2013 – may 11, 2014 courtesy mmca, korea
Do Ho Suh
‘Home Within Home’ (installation view)
Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea
November 12, 2013 – May 11, 2014
courtesy MMCA, korea

Artwork is displayed at the MMCA, Korea.

An artwork the most similar out of the three stated here that looks much like the typical architecture. The ‘walls’ are instead not made out of plaster, but rather, silk. It is an outright representation of space within space, the Seoul home enclosed and floating in the middle of the outer home. The four planes (right, left, opposite right and left) are parallel planes to the opposing home. There is a hierarchy – the outer home having a stronger ‘power’ than the inner home due to the spatial placement. There are no interlocking between the two homes, showing distinctiveness and separateness.

Spatial Exercise 1 / Reflections

This exercise seeks to explore and observe the reactions of two participants, who were placed in a particular situation (mediated by an object) for a few minutes.

For this exercise, the following items were tested out:

Some of the materials used in experimentation

A rope arranged in a circle, a red rope to encircle participant’s waist, a flexible tube, bubble foam with holes at each corner (not pictured).


Considerations for chosen items:

  • Rope in circle arrangement: Participants were to stand in the circle, and create their own perceived figment of space from the visual of the rope-border
  • Red Rope: Tugs and pulls, participants are able to pull on their own extension of rope to affect the other
  • Flexible Tube: Participants are free to play around with tube
  • Bubble foam: Emulating the original artwork, participants can however play with bubble foam, and also tug it affecting the other. Mostly served to simply enforce closer proximity

By deliberately pacing the gap between the participants, this object makes participants self-conscious about the space around them, as they start to pay attention to the nearby elements. Also, personal space is intruded upon – by another person without their approval, and they feel uncomfortable with the adjusted space. A new situation is created: and the response recorded varied between users.

In general, there were 3 main responses:
1. Keeping quiet and standing awkwardly
2. Keeping occupied, fiddling with object
3. Chat with each other

After the experiment, participants voiced that the experiment forced them into a situation different from when the object had not been there, hence their different behavioural outcomes. With its presence, the object became a catalyst for setting up a social situation, where the personal space became the shared space. The participants thus share a common situation (of standing stationary at a given spot, facing another person), and a similar understanding of their current position.

When external factors such as friends came into play, a sense of ease was given to the participants – possibly mitigating the outcome of the experiment. Having familiar elements in an odd, new situation helps to allay some anxiety. The space has now expanded to involve the friends. Personally, I feel that at such, too many elements are present which erodes the position to create a personalised space for the two participants.

On the other hand, when friends join the experiment, anxiety tension is still created. Some friends continue chatting, ignoring the discomfort from the objects, whereas some become overly conscious about it.

However, participants who overcame their anxiety discomfort started to create another space with each other, through initiating polite talk. Below are a picture series of strangers (to the other) participating in the experiment:

Later, we instead gave a pair of participants free will to play around with the object. The lack of restriction allowed the participants to build a space around the object, rather than create an object as an outcome of the experiment. Their actions was now for the object, rather than mediated by the object. Now, the need to interact with the other has failed, failing the idea of creating a common space with the other.

It was interesting to note that some participants mimicked the other subconsciously through their actions.